Buttered Popcorn Sugar Cookie Recipe

Wavy Line

Movie night requires a huge bowl of buttered popcorn. The only way to improve the snack? I made buttered popcorn sugar cookies to go with it. These unusual cookies are dense, chewy, and full of sweet-and-salty flavor, perfect for movie night or any other night.  

This recipe's simplicity is its best feature. It only takes one bowl, no mixer, and no room temperature ingredients. I'll demonstrate how to make them in four easy steps.  

– 1 tablespoonvegetable oil – 1/4 cupunpopped popcorn kernels, divided – 2 stick(1 cup) unsalted butter – 2 1/4 cupall-purpose flour – 3/4 teaspoonkosher salt – 1/2 teaspoonbaking powder


– 1/2 teaspoonbaking soda – 1 cupgranulated sugar – 3/4 cuppacked light brown sugar – 1large egg – 1large egg yolk – 1 tablespoonvanilla extract – Flaky salt (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a big, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a cover on medium-high until shimmering. Test the oil's heat with 1 teaspoon of popcorn kernels. Once some popcorn kernels pop, add the rest. Warning: popping kernels can fly out of the saucepan! Cover the saucepan and heat, shaking regularly, until the popcorn stops popping and there is 5 seconds of stillness between pops, 2 1/3 to 3 minutes.  

Step 1

Pour the popcorn into a wide bowl, avoiding unpopped kernels. (About 5 1/2 cups)  

Step 2

Cleaning the pot with a paper towel removes popcorn stuck inside. Put back on the stove over low heat. Cook 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, stirring regularly, until melted but not browned, 2–3 minutes. Pour immediately into a large heat-proof basin and cool for 30 minutes on the counter.  

Step 3

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl. Divide the oven into thirds with two racks and heat to 350°F. Cover 3 baking sheets (or more) with parchment paper.  

Step 4

In the melted butter dish, add 1 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 big egg, 1 large egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Whisk till glossy and smooth. A rubber spatula or wooden spoon should be used to fully combine the flour mixture and make a smooth dough.  

Step 5

Smash popcorn with your hands to make little, uneven pieces. Popcorn should be somewhat larger than peas and have random, complete pieces. Throw away any hard kernels sticking to the popcorn. Add to dough and fold gently.  

Step 6

Form balls from 32 (1 1/2-inch wide cookie scoops) or 2 rounded tablespoons of dough. Put 10–12 dough balls on each baking sheet, 2 inches apart. If using, sprinkle flaky salt over top.  

Step 7

Bake 2 sheets for 11–13 minutes, flipping them back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until cracks appear. Underbake them (these cookies won't brown much). After 5 minutes on the baking sheets, transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  

Step 8

Halfway through baking the last sheet of cookies on either rack, rotate the pan. (Let a reusable baking sheet cool for 15 minutes before baking the last batch.)  

Step 9

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